May 01, 1998
Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts May 1998 Current Issue
May 1998

All wet
All wet: Attendees learnt to water ski.

They've played one too many games of beach olympics. They've golfed. And golfed again. Maybe it's time to get your group off the greens and onto water skis.

One of the hottest attractions at Florida's Cypress Gardens theme park, near Orlando, is "Extreme Experience," a hands-on water skiing program that introduces beginners to the sport and teaches experienced skiiers a new trick or two. The program, which teams participants with a certified instructor for an intense hour on the water, includes a certificate of participation and even a T-shirt emblazoned with an action photo taken during the session. (941) 324-2111

At the Orlando International Water Ski Center in Kissimmee, Fla., groups of six get the full attention of owner Ron Thompson, the 1997 U.S. National Slalom Champion, and his crew. "We get a lot of executives out here for a conference who just want to try an hour or two of skiing," says Thompson. "Most have never been on skis before." The center's facilities are on the secluded Isles of Lake Hancock - four man-made lakes, complete with a competition slalom course. Thompson provides each skier with a video analysis of his progress. (407) 257-0686

In Smithville, Texas, the Lone Star Water Ski School will arrange instructional outings for individuals or groups of up to 12 on private Ships Lake. Sessions might last an hour or two, or up to a full day, wrapping up with a lakeside barbecue. (512) 360-2222

California Pacific Watersports at the San Diego Hilton Resort on Mission Bay will take groups of up to 16 for an hour or a full day of instructional skiing. Gift certificates are available as pillow gifts.

Similar programs can be arranged at many other properties. Call hotels directly, or ask the convention and visitors bureau for guidance.

Cheryl-Anne Sturken

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